Full Draw Released for 2018 Brisbane Global Rugby Tens Tournament

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Brisbane Global Rugby Tens
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 11: General view during the Rugby Global Tens match between Highlanders and Hurricanes at Suncorp Stadium on February 11, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

The official full draw has been released for the upcoming 2018 Brisbane Global Rugby Tens tournament. The 12 team International event will now feature a women’s competition, as well as a full weekend of ‘full on rugby entertainment’.

In it’s second year, the tournament is going to be hosted by Nick Cummins. The former Australian Wallabies/Sevens player has been inspired to be the official MC – or as he puts it, the ‘morale coach’ for the global rugby tens weekend.

And with the draw released, the anticipation of a successful weekend in February is building.

Full Draw Released for 2018 Brisbane Global Rugby Tens Tournament

After the New Zealand Chiefs Super Rugby team claimed the maiden trophy, expect the home-based Australians and the visiting teams to aim to use this weekend as the perfect warm-up.

Scheduled for the start of February, it is almost perfectly placed at the time that sides need two important ingredients. (1) opposition: sides have only had opposed training to generate pre-season systems and combinations. And there is nothing like having an opposition player facing you, to improve our readiness for the season start.

(2) fitness: after starting pre-season in December, nearly two months of work will have the players fit. Not match-fit, but physically ready. While an 80 minute game is very different, the cardio-levels needed in Brisbane will benefit from the intense, short bursts required for a tens match*.

 * the matches are ten minutes per half, ten players per side with eight substitutions permitted. So the full squad can be utilized across the weekend, giving match-time as well as building combinations (from available players; excluding All Blacks)

12 World-class Teams Competing to be Crowned Champion

With the player depth that the 12 world-class teams will bring with them, fans will be able to see some of the world’s best. Julian Savea, the All Blacks winger is looking to use the 2018 Brisbane Global Rugby Tens as a springboard for his Hurricanes team. The same can be said of Karmichael Hunt of the Reds, as both can benefit from the run–as well as the team work, and the possibility of raising a trophy.

Brisbane Global Rugby Tens
Julian Savea of the Hurricanes breaks away from the defence of Reds player Karmichael Hunt during the Super Rugby round six match. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Fans will enjoy the stars in attendance too, as much as the festive atmosphere. Like the hugely popular Sydney Sevens, the entertainment is a feature. Costumes and good friends, food and beverages all make the day/night matches a true spectacle.

Add in Nick Cummins and his desire to keep the vibe going in between matches. Music, spot prizes, as well as party zones for the most enthusiastic, will surely make it ‘one epic weekend of rugby action’.

Join the Rugby 10’s Revolution!

Competition is naturally going to occur. Professional sports teams and players will have key objectives. As Scott Robertson, the Crusaders head coach, put it “it’s not as expansive as sevens, but it’s quite aggressive. So it gives you that physical contact two weeks out from the start of Super Rugby.”

Women’s Teams, Wildcard Player Selection Adds Interest

News that four Australian women’s teams will play in exhibition matches, is great for the game. As much as the extra games will be, the recognition of the growth of women’s rugby.

The inclusion of the QLD Rugby Women’s, NSW Rugby Women’s, Rebels Women’s, Brumbies Women’s sides will promote the teams, the state unions and the sport to a global audience. And with women’s rugby on a high on both sides of the Tasman, the attention will ultimately pay dividends.

And in another bold tournament ruling, the teams are now able to include a ‘wildcard’ pick. That maybe a player outside of the squad–which was maximized to the highest degree, by the Auckland Blues.

In early November, the Blues revealed Carlos Spencer as their wildcard player. The former player led the 2003 team to the Super Rugby title, but at the Brisbane Global Rugby Tens, Spencer will be a drawcard for fans wanting to see if the ‘elusive Carlos’ can still mesmerize opposition players.

“The body’s pretty good,” he said, and he will also be an influence on current players. A mentor and idol for some, his presence could be the trigger for the Blues to show their potential – as all the other teams will be hoping.

Nick Cummins ‘the Honey Badger’

The host with the most, the laconic character has a following in rugby circles. Thought of as a talented player, he represented his club and country with pride. That passion is evident in his enthusiasm for the sport and in presenting to current, and new fans.

Last Word on Rugby were fortunate to interview Cummins in Brisbane [prior to the 2017 final Bledisloe Cup match] and his reputation is faithful to the person. He described what the Brisbane 10s will bring.

“Your looking at an exciting spectacle. Your talking speed and fitness from the sevens game, and massive barnstorming runs from the XVs fellas. Mix those two up and a get a bloody hurricane of excitement!

“It’s a party mate. There’s DJs, there’s beer gardens and there is a lot more interaction with the players and fans”, and Cummins will be a very good MC. He promises to monitor the crowd mood, and if it a little low, expect Cummins to inject his party formula.

“We’ll sing a few songs, and tell a few stories…some them might even be true”. And in the style of Crocodile Dundee, fans will surely be entertained. Though, with the quick ten minute halves, the fast-action on field should make for a breath taking event.

One thing that Nick Cummins, Julian Savea or Carlos Spencer all have in common, if they can light up a game with their natural skill, then the fans are the winners. And at the 2018 Brisbane Global Rugby tens, it should see both great rugby, and a great environment.

Where: Suncorp Stadium      When: February 9-10

2018 Brisbance Global Rugby Tens

“Main photo credit”
Embed from Getty Images

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